June 27, 1984

PC

William Hunter (Bill) McKnight

Progressive Conservative

Mr. McKnight:

In 1967 I bought a Versatile tractor and the total price was $9,000. It was a 118 horsepower four wheel drive. Do you know what it would cost to buy that today? It would cost $65,000. In 1967 I was getting $2.25 for a bushel of wheat. Today I am getting $4. The cost to increase my horsepower rose from $9,000 to $65,000. I see that my time is up. I hope the Minister understands the problem of the farming areas in western Canada.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   WESTERN GRAIN STABILIZATION ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO AMEND
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LIB

Jacques Guilbault (Assistant Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole)

Liberal

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Guilbault):

Is the House ready for the question?

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   WESTERN GRAIN STABILIZATION ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO AMEND
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?

Some Hon. Members:

Question.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   WESTERN GRAIN STABILIZATION ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO AMEND
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LIB

Jacques Guilbault (Assistant Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole)

Liberal

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Guilbault):

The question is on the amendment of Mr. Axworthy. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   WESTERN GRAIN STABILIZATION ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO AMEND
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?

Some Hon. Members:

Agreed.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   WESTERN GRAIN STABILIZATION ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO AMEND
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Motion agreed to.


LIB

Lloyd Axworthy (Minister of Transport)

Liberal

Mr. Axworthy moved

that the Bill be concurred in.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   WESTERN GRAIN STABILIZATION ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO AMEND
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Motion agreed to.


LIB

Lloyd Axworthy (Minister of Transport)

Liberal

Mr. Axworthy moved

that the Bill be read the third time and do pass.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   WESTERN GRAIN STABILIZATION ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO AMEND
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PC

Charles James Mayer

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Charles Mayer (Portage-Marquette):

Mr. Speaker, I will just make a few points to put our position about the Bill clearly on the record. I think the amendments improve the Bill. We lament the fact that we were not given more time in committee to make more improvements to the Bill. As the Hon. Member for Provencher (Mr. Epp) said, we served notice that there were other things to be done to the Bill which could have been done.

The comment which needs to be made is that it is too bad the Government did not have a Minister in the House to deal with the Bill. I think that would have made a difference. I would like to defend the Senate before I say what I am going to say. I think there are some excellent Senators and they do some excellent committee work. However, I have heard the Senate defined on occasion as living proof of life after death. If you look at the way in which the Minister who was responsible for this Bill performed on this Bill, it may put a little credence in that definition of the Senate. I say that just to make the point that I think we could have dealt more effectively with this Bill had we had someone in the House who was prepared to deal with it in a little more urgent and animated way. We probably would have had some better amendments.

We are happy to see the change in the trigger mechanism so that there will be a pay-out this year. In saying that, I would urge the Government again to give the Bill Royal Assent and

to get the arithmetic done so that we can have an interim payment which is as large as possible and as quickly as possible. That has been our concern since the start. We hope that the Government will take this as notice and get the payment out as quickly as possible.

We have some concerns about having it changed from a calendar year to a crop year basis. The jury is still out as to whether or not that will be an improvement. It is certainly a welcome improvement to allow spouses to be eligible to participate on a multiple basis. That is a worth-while improvement to the Bill and something which could have been done sooner. It is certainly welcome now.

With regard to the withdrawal procedure, I think it remains to be seen whether we need to go on a 10-year basis. I am not convinced that that could not be shortened. The Hon. Member for Bow River (Mr. Taylor) talked about producers wanting to have the option to withdraw. I think that is a valid concern. Ten years seems excessively long to a lot of producers. I wonder how that is going to work. We basically support the amendments. The Government has caught us between a rock and a hard place by bringing it in at this late date in the session. We certainly have to give approval to the Bill but I would like to reiterate the fact that the improvements could have been substantially better in many ways and the legislation is still flawed. It is going to require improvements in the future. With that I will close by saying that we hope the Bill is given Royal Assent as quickly as possible and that the cash which is urgently needed will be in the producers' hands as quickly as possible.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   WESTERN GRAIN STABILIZATION ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO AMEND
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LIB

Jacques Guilbault (Assistant Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole)

Liberal

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Guilbault):

Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

Motion agreed to and Bill read the third time and passed.

* *

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   WESTERN GRAIN STABILIZATION ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO AMEND
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LIB

Jacques Guilbault (Assistant Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole)

Liberal

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Guilbault):

The Hon. Member for Saskatoon West (Mr. Hnatyshyn) on a point of order.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   WESTERN GRAIN STABILIZATION ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO AMEND
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PC

Ramon John Hnatyshyn (Official Opposition House Leader; Progressive Conservative Party House Leader)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Hnatyshyn:

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order with reference to an incident which transpired earlier this evening. The Member for Willowdale (Mr. Peterson) stood in his place and indicated to the House that there had been consultations and consent given with respect to reverting to Motions in order that a report from the finance committee could in fact be tabled. I have spoken directly to the Member for Willowdale about this matter indicating my displeasure with the step that was taken by him in indicating that he had consulted. He had in fact not consulted.

We try to operate this place on the basis of a person's word being taken for granted. I was out of the Chamber very briefly. I am sorry this has happened. I do not like to see this kind of a matter dealt with in this way. If there are going to be consultations I am pleased to have discussions. I am sure the matter could have been resolved. However, for the Member for Willowdale to come into the House and indicate that he had consulted with me is simply not the fact. I want to put that on

June 27, 1984

the record. If that happens again we are going to find ourselves in a position where we simply will not agree to anything except in the normal course of events. I think that would be a very unfortunate way to have to operate the House of Commons. We operate on the basis of consultation with the House Leaders. I would not presume, nor would any member of my caucus, to say that there had been consultations with the Government House Leader if there had not been. I would do him the courtesy of making sure that there was a clear understanding with respect to the matter. It is a fait accompli. I simply bring this to your attention because I am concerned about the activities that have taken place. I have said that I have spoken directly to the Member for Willowdale and indicated to him my intense displeasure with what has transpired today.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   WESTERN GRAIN STABILIZATION ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO AMEND
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LIB

Jean-Guy Dubois (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Employment and Immigration)

Liberal

Mr. Dubois:

Mr. Speaker, concerning what my colleague opposite just said, I was in the House when the Member for Willowdale (Mr. Peterson) rose on a point of order. He did not mention consultation. He asked for unanimous consent, and I want to set the record straight. He only asked for unanimous consent to table the report of the Standing Committee on Finance, Trade and Economic Affairs, in connection with Bill C-36. That is what he said in the House. In any case, my hon. friend will be able to check the record in Hansard tomorrow. He never mentioned consultation, he just asked for unanimous consent and that is when the Hon. Member's colleague behind him, the Hon. Member for Dartmouth-Halifax East (Mr. Forrestall), rose and asked to see what it was. As far as I know, there never was any consultation. He just asked for, and obtained, the unanimous consent of the House to table this report.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   WESTERN GRAIN STABILIZATION ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO AMEND
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LIB

Jacques Guilbault (Assistant Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole)

Liberal

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Guilbault):

On this point, whether or not there were consultations of course is not within the purview of the Chair. The Chair heard an Hon. Member asking for consent and the Chair asked whether there was consent in the House. It eventually became clear that consent was available. However, with regard to consultations, there is not much that I can do.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   WESTERN GRAIN STABILIZATION ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO AMEND
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PC

J. Michael Forrestall (Deputy Whip of the Progressive Conservative Party)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Forrestall:

Mr. Speaker, I think the observations with respect to this are very pertinent to the activity and the work we must do over the next two days. There was no question in my mind whatsoever that, implicit in the words of the Hon. Member, there would be agreement if you were to seek unanimous consent. I certainly would not have given unanimous consent until I was certain that there had been consultations, either with my House Leader or the finance spokesman for our Party. Indeed, I would not have risen had I not taken that inference. Of course I am imputing motives. There is no question about that. It is an unparliamentary thing for me to do and I very rarely do it. If I am, I will apologize. On the other hand, with any further occurrence of that kind, unless I

Committee Report

am absolutely satisfied that in the absence of my House Leader there has been consultation on concurrence, unfortunately there will not be consent given; not until such time as there is some assurance on all sides of the House.

The inference from the distinguished House Leader of the NDP, implicit in his question about why I was objecting, gave even further rise to my concern. There was no consultation and it was implicit in the seeking of consent.

In any event, I suspect that in the parliamentary process, with the courtesy that we follow, there is no attempt to seek unanimous consent without prior consultation in some usual or informal sense. You are nodding your head in the negative, Mr. Speaker. In the 19 or 20 years that I have been here there has always been the courtesy of consultation, conversation or discussion and then a process, unless in the usual way, the Government House Leader is attempting to further the Government's own ends. That was not the case this evening.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   WESTERN GRAIN STABILIZATION ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO AMEND
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LIB

Yvon Pinard (President of the Privy Council; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Mr. Pinard:

Mr. Speaker, I rise very briefly. I understand that perhaps my hon. colleague has not witnessed in the past the seeking of unanimous consent without previous consultations having been held. I believe him. I have no reason to doubt his word that that never happened while he was physically sitting in the House. But he must have been away for many long periods of time. I have only been here ten years and during those ten years I very often have witnessed Members seeking unanimous consent without previous consultation.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   WESTERN GRAIN STABILIZATION ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO AMEND
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PC

J. Michael Forrestall (Deputy Whip of the Progressive Conservative Party)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Forrestall:

Not so at all.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   WESTERN GRAIN STABILIZATION ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO AMEND
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LIB

Yvon Pinard (President of the Privy Council; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Mr. Pinard:

Probably my hon. colleague was campaigning for his nomination convention in Halifax, but that is understandable. However, that is the case.

What is clear now is that a colleague of mine was in the House when this happened. I see that the Member for Willowdale (Mr. Peterson) is here and he will have an opportunity to clarify it. But we were told that he never indicated that previous consultations had been held. He was just merely seeking unanimous consent. I believe the Hon. Member for Lotbiniere (Mr. Dubois) has just indicated that. I was not in the House, but if the Opposition suspects that we wanted to play a trick on them, I can assure them that we will not deal with this Bill before the end of June without their consent. So they should be very at ease. We are very sincere and acting in good faith. What was done was done in the normal practice.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   WESTERN GRAIN STABILIZATION ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO AMEND
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PC

J. Michael Forrestall (Deputy Whip of the Progressive Conservative Party)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Forrestall:

That is not normal practice.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   WESTERN GRAIN STABILIZATION ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO AMEND
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June 27, 1984